7 Eco Friendly Dishwasher Tablets For The Best Sustainable Sparkle
Washing dishes is not so bad. Said no one ever.
Dishwashers, next to the wheel, are one of the greatest inventions, right?
Now with eco friendly dishwasher tablets we can take another load off of ourselves while also taking a load off the planet.
Conventional dishwasher detergents contain toxic ingredients like phosphates, synthetic dyes, and preservatives—not to mention the single-use plastic.
You’ve probably got enough on your plate without the added eco-guilt of “finding eco friendly ways to do dishes”.
So to come to your (rinse)aid, we’ve scrubbed away the grime to find the most sustainable dishwasher tablets.
Puracy’s eco friendly dishwasher tablets are made from 99.5% natural ingredients and are safe to use around children and pets.
Zero Co helps get your dishes clean without dirtying the planet via pods that come in compostable packaging.
For pure plant-powered cleaning, Grove Collaborative’s eco dishwasher tablets are all natural, down to the natural essential oils fragrance.
To find out how we chose the best eco friendly dishwasher tablets, cycle your way to the bottom of the article.
*This post contains affiliate links
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
About Puracy’s eco friendly dishwasher tablets
Puracy’s eco dishwasher tablets were developed by a chemist with over twenty years of experience in formulating dishwasher detergent.
No surprise then that theirs is made from 99.5% natural ingredients, using plant-based enzymes to safely break down caked-on food.
You won’t find chlorine bleach, dyes, parabens, SLES, palm oil, or other harsh chemicals here.
Mineral-based water softeners mean these tablets will work effectively in hard water without the need for environmentally damaging phosphates.
Each pod is encased in a dissolvable polyvinyl alcohol (PHOV) film. More on PVOH later.
Puracy is a small, family-owned company on a mission to create “the best plant-based products that are safe for people, animals, and the planet”.
All formulas are at least 99.3% natural and safe to use around pets and children.
The brand works closely with its US-based manufacturers to make sure that ingredients are high quality and ethically produced.
All products are PETA-approved vegan and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
The carbon footprint of each order is offset through their partnership with the Pachama Project and the brand further donates to a wide range of charities.
*Note: Dropps uses RSPO-certified palm oil.
About Dropps’ eco dishwasher tablets
Dropps’ eco friendly dishwasher tablets are chlorine-free, phosphate-free, and phthalate-free, keeping it cleaner for the planet as well as your dishes.
Available unscented or in a zingy lemon fragrance, the pods contain oxygen-based bleach and enzymes to get those dishes sparkly clean.
They do use RSPO-certified palm oil.
Each pod has a polyvinyl alcohol dissolvable membrane and the set comes in recyclable and compostable packaging.
Dropps entered the eco-home cleaning scene with their no waste laundry detergent.
They’ve since expanded into a range of eco friendly cleaning products made with natural ingredients and compostable packaging.
In the name of transparency, full ingredient disclosures and safety data sheets are accessible on their website.
Dropps offers carbon neutral shipping and offsets emissions through their partnership with Clearloop.
*Note:Ecoleaf tablets use RSPO certified palm oil.
About Ecoleaf’s eco friendly dishwasher tablets
Take a leaf out of Ecoleaf’s book and opt for eco dishwasher tablets that are naturally effective and gentle on the planet.
They’re derived from sustainably sourced plant extracts and are free from parabens, phosphates, and synthetic fragrances.
Which is why we consider them one of the best eco-friendly dishwasher tablets in the UK.
They do contain RSPO certified palm oil. Read more about their policy here.
Each tablet has a dissolvable PVA wrapper and comes in a recyclable (or compostable) cardboard box.
Ecoleaf is owned by wholefood collective, Suma which offers a full range of products for conscious home cleaning.
All are plant-based, registered with the Vegan Society, and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
They offer bulk refillable options and supply a number of bulk stores in the UK.
Any plastic packaging used by Suma is recyclable.
Available: Ethical Superstore
4. GROVE COLLABORATIVE
*Note: Grove Collaborative is not an entirely vegan brand, but their dishwasher pods are vegan. Grove uses RSPO palm oil in their products.
About Grove Collaborative’s Eco Dishwasher Tablets
Grove Collaborative’s eco friendly dishwasher tablets harness the power of plants to clean your dishes without polluting the planet.
You won’t find harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, phosphates, formaldehyde, dyes, and chlorine bleach.
Two types of eco dishwasher tablets are available, both 91% plant-based: Total Clean and Pure Power.
Pure Power tablets offer an extra-strength clean which can remove 48 hour baked-on food.
You can choose unscented or lemon and eucalyptus tablets which are fragranced using 100% natural essential oils and plant extracts.
About Grove Collaborative
Certified B Corporation Grove Collaborative curates over 150 sustainable brands, including their own creations.
They’re a one-stop shop for conscious cleaning products from eco friendly mops to zero waste hand soap, as well as personal care and beauty products.
Partner brands must meet their high standards for non-toxicity, transparency, and ethical manufacturing.
All of the products they carry are 100% cruelty-free. They use RSPO palm oil.
Every Grove purchase is also plastic neutral. They do this by partnering with rePurpose Global to collect and recycle an equal weight of plastic from the environment.
They’re planning to be plastic-free by 2025.
Shipping is carbon neutral through support of reforestation projects.
Available: Grove Collaborative
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
About Ecozone’s Eco Friendly Dishwasher Tablets
If you’re looking for the best eco dishwasher tablets in the UK, Ecozone offers tablets that are non toxic, plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free.
They’re also an allergy-friendly product, approved by Allergy UK.
Instead of POVH, the eco friendly plastic free dishwasher tablets feature wrappers that are made from a soluble 100% vegetable-based cornstarch.
They come in compostable or recyclable cardboard packaging.
Ecozone is a UK company on a mission to reduce toxic chemicals and cut CO2 emissions.
They’re all about using natural formulas to create over a hundred biodegradable cleaning products that are “people friendly” as well as animal friendly.
Their range is certified by the Vegan Society, Cruelty-Free International, and PETA.
They’re also endorsed by the NatureWatch Foundation for their animal welfare efforts.
6. ZERO CO
*Note: Zero Co uses RSPO MB certified palm oil, meaning some is sustainable palm oil but not all.
About Zero Co’s Eco Dishwasher Tablets
Australian brand Zero Co’s eco friendly dishwasher tablets use a plant and mineral-based formula for non toxic cleaning power.
The tablets are biodegradable, phosphate-free, and gray-water safe.
While they use beets and bentonite to bind the ingredients, we’re not certain if these are the only materials in the outer film or if PVOH is involved. Stay tuned.
The eco dishwasher tablets come in a recycled cardboard box that’s printed with vegetable dyes.
The palm oil used has the RSPO MB certification. This means that palm oil products from RSPO-certified businesses are mixed with non-certified products.
It’s a step in the right direction and Zero Co has plans to transition to all sustainably sourced palm oil when available as well as make more of their products palm-oil free.
About Zero Co
Mike Smith, the company’s founder, joined us on our podcast to provide the full low-down on the Zero Co project.
They’re on a mission to ditch single waste plastic and clear up the oceans in the process.
All plastic packaging is made from 100% recycled plastic waste and, to date, they’ve recovered nearly 6,000kg of plastic waste from the ocean.
If ordering one of their liquids, the bottles and pouches can also then be sent back to be refilled.
They give a full breakdown of the ingredients so you know exactly what’s in (and what’s not in) their products, which are all vegan and cruelty-free.
Available: Zero Co.
Zero Co. has featured in an article on eco friendly laundry detergent.
*Note: We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
About Smol’s Eco Friendly Dishwasher Tablets
On a mission to reduce chemical inputs, Smol’s super-concentrated products are smol but mighty.
They’re also vegan, cruelty-free, and “contain fewer chemicals than leading brands”.
This means they’re not chemical free but are working to reduce the levels of chemicals in their products. We’ll be reaching out to them for a full ingredient list.
These dishwasher tabs come in a 100% plastic-free cardboard box, but we’re not certain if each tablet contains a PVOH film or not. We’ll update when we know more.
Smol is on a mission to reduce its own carbon footprint and spread the word about ways customers can reduce energy when using its products.
They carried out a full life cycle analysis of their laundry capsules and dishwasher tabs to learn the carbon emissions at each stage of the production process.
Due to lower chemicals, concentrated formulas in smaller tablets, and minimal packaging, their products have saved 6,000 tons of CO2 since 2018.
The brand donates products to those in need, supporting The Hygiene Bank as well as various primary schools and homeless organizations.
Available: Smol (Europe only)
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST ECO-FRIENDLY DISHWASHER TABLETS
Wondering what makes dishwasher tablets eco friendly?
We considered the following in helping us scrub through the dirt to get to those sparkly brands making non-toxic dishwasher detergent:
- Cruelty-free: Products need to be 100% cruelty-free. Simple.
- Vegan: There’s just no need for detergent to contain ingredients derived from animals.
- Non-toxic: Standard dishwasher detergent often contains phosphates and other chemicals that filter into waterways and harm aquatic life. We looked for brands that prioritize plant-based formulas that will safely biodegrade for minimum environmental impact.
- Palm oil free: We ideally want eco dishwasher tabs to be palm oil-free. If brands do use palm oil it needs to be sustainably sourced e.g. RSPO certified.
- Ethical sourcing and manufacturing: We like to see solid ethical ingredient sourcing policies and will reach out to brands if we need more info.
- Thoughtful packaging: Zero waste (i.e. compostable or reusable) packaging is best. At a minimum packaging should be recyclable and ideally made of recycled materials.
Whilst it’s not a necessity, we also love to see brands that give back by donating funds, products, and time to worthwhile causes.
A note on Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH, PVA)
Many brands, including several on our list, use a dissolvable membrane for their eco dishwasher tablets made out of Polyvinyl alcohol.
Polyvinyl alcohol is a type of water-soluble plastic polymer used in various products including laundry detergent sheets and pods, and dishwasher tablets.
Because there’s been controversy surrounding the eco friendliness of PVA we did a deep dive on the question: is PVA sustainable?
Whilst PVA can fully biodegrade, it needs specific conditions to do so and these aren’t always met by wastewater treatments. If it’s not broken down, PVA can contaminate waterways as another form of plastic pollution.
One study found that as much as 75% of PVA from laundry and dishwasher pods isn’t broken down during the water treatment process.
However, critics of the study say that it’s based on flawed modeling and that biodegradability in the wild is very different from biodegradability in a lab-controlled setting.
For that reason, it’s more accurate to call it dissolvable than biodegradable.
PVA still has its advocates, including the brands that promote it.
Not to be swayed by greenwashing, it’s clear that we need more independent studies to be carried out.
In the meantime, as with most sustainable living choices, it’s a case of weighing up the pros and cons of different materials.
We can either treat PVA as an effective way to cut down on larger amounts of plastic until better alternatives are available or opt for less convenient non-PVA options.
If PVA leaves a bad film in your mouth as it might on the planet, you could instead use a zero waste dish soap in the form of powders or—if you ditch the dishwasher altogether—soap bars.
Final Thoughts On Environmentally Friendly Dishwasher Tablets
What’s scarier than a mountain of dishes next to your sink?
The far-reaching impact of the products we use to clean our dishes can have.
The bottom line is, what goes down the plughole (or out the back of the dishwasher) ends up in our waterways and the environment affecting wildlife and the food chain—you included.
It’s time we pull the plug on toxic ingredients and single-use plastic.
By harnessing the natural cleaning power of plants and minerals we get a sustainable sparkle, instead of dirty dishwater.
Little changes—even one as little as hitting “share”—make a big impact so please pass this article along to help us all clean up those daily chores.